Representatives from over 100 hospitality businesses have met in London’s City Hall for the Big Hospitality Conversation on Wednesday 24th September 2014, where ‘on-the-spot’ jobs were available to young job seekers.
It is estimated that across the UK there are some 900,000 young people not in education, employment or training, and experts warn the problem isn’t improving fast enough despite the economy returning to pre-recession levels. While many young people are still out of work, there are thousands of job vacancies in the industry and it’s this disconnect between jobs on offer and what young people will consider as career options which is causing particular concern for industry experts.
A recent study for the think tank IPPR cited a mismatch between the types of jobs young people are training for compared with what jobs as actually being available as one of the main barriers to solving the youth unemployment problem.
Today’s announcement forms part of a wider job creation programme in the hospitality industry, with 300,000 jobs needing to be filled by 2020 to reflect rapid expansion and market demand. 60,000 of these new jobs will be earmarked for 16-24 year olds, and the industry provides a gateway to tackle long-term youth unemployment.
In a bid to combat outdated views towards the industry, renowned restaurateur and chef Brian Turner will join over 100 hospitality industry chiefs and some 400 young job seekers at London’s City Hall to promote hospitality as a career option for young people.
The Big Hospitality Conversation offers a commitment to creating job opportunities for 16-24 year olds. 34,000 jobs have so far been created at events like the one in City Hall. The aim is for the hospitality industry to create up to 60,000 jobs for young people by 2016. It’s a joint initiative between the British Hospitality Association, Springboard, Believe in Young People, Business in the Community, People First, and the DWP.
Tourism Minister Helen Grant said: “The hospitality sector is a thriving and dynamic one that can offer people a fulfilling, challenging career with great opportunities for progression. The Big Hospitality Conversation shows young people the exciting options available to them and will help unearth the sector’s leaders of tomorrow.”
Brian Turner CBE, one of Britain’s best known chefs, started work in his Dad’s transport cafe then went on to train at Simpson’s in the Strand, The Savoy, The Beau Rivage in Lausanne and Claridge’s, before opening his own restaurants. He will be attending the event and said: “Starting out as a young trainee and learning the ropes from people full of experience is a fantastic way to start your career and it’s a real gateway to the world. For anyone who likes working with people and has a strong work ethic, there is no limit to the opportunities available and what's more, it’s fun!”
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said: “Hospitality is a successful industry with even greater growth prospects offering a vast range of job opportunities for all job seekers of any age. However, there are still widespread misconceptions amongst many outside the industry who don’t see the value in hospitality careers. We urge young people to look beyond outdated viewpoints and join our industry. The breadth of job roles and the training available means that bright and focused young people can succeed very quickly. We welcome young people to come along to the event to hear from insiders about how they started out in their careers. At the City Hall event businesses will be offering on the spot job opportunities, so a young job seeker could start the day unemployed and leave with a job. Where, in any other private sector industry, would that happen?”
Patrick Dempsey OBE, Chairman of the Big Hospitality Conversation and MD Premier Inn said: "Hospitality is a vibrant, growing industry with a lot to offer. There is a huge pool of talent in the 16-24 age group and we are committed to helping raise awareness amongst young people that are unemployed, not in education or training, offering significant opportunities for them to join and develop their careers within the hospitality industry. We will train young people, provide them with qualifications and long term prospects within a sustainable and thriving industry.”
The Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “Helping London businesses to succeed and getting young people into meaningful employment are top priorities for City Hall. The hospitality sector is having a significant impact on London’s growing economy and is well placed to provide thousands of young Londoners with the skills and training they need to succeed.”